Edinburgh Art Festival 2023 Programme Announced

We are delighted to announce plans for the 2023 festival, the first under the direction of Kim McAleese and a programme that connects the people and city of Edinburgh with a global dialogue through a range of exhibitions, commissions, performances and events. The 2023 festival is set to be one of the largest yet, with 55 ambitious projects and exhibitions across more than 35 venues, with the most innovative and renowned partners, museums and galleries working in visual art in this city all set to take part, including many who will work with EAF for the first time. The new format festival is a call to action to explore the Scottish capital, looking at the city a-new through the lens of visual art and across a diverse range of the EAF partner galleries, museum presentations, and newly commissioned works.

The new format festival also foregrounds reasons to come together, and see collaborations with their many gallery partners in the city for parties, performances, and one-off events, as well as partnerships with Edinburgh International Book Festival, Forma, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Forma, TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Lavender Menace Queer Books Archive, Horizon Showcase, and The Common Guild.

The new dates for the UK’s biggest visual art festival are 11–27 August 2023, allowing for three full weeks, including a trio of weekends of talks, performances, and one off events, aligning in date and in collaboration with other festivals in the city. From queer histories in brutalist tower blocks; to tracing peace lines and borders through sound, moving image and music; and the festival’s continuing commitment to support structures, the 2023 festival-led programme features artists, thinkers, writer and performers who move through this world deeply connected to feminist and queer practice. This may take various forms: an opera; a poem; the sound of a ricochet along a peace wall; a newspaper excerpt; a bodily gesture; a warming meal.

Kim McAleese, Festival Director, says, “I am delighted to share this programme, my first for Edinburgh Art Festival. It’s a programme that asks how we can connect with and find mutual support internationally, platforming artists, individuals and communities who can find alternative ways to resist. I believe in the generative process of collaboration and want to embrace it by connecting, amplifying, promoting and sharing individuals, organisations, and projects that have an intimacy with these values. By punctuating the festival with a series of special weekend events, we can open up the festival to new audiences, and in dialogue with other art forms and other festivals across the city in a spirit of collaboration. This year’s programme guides you through our core galleries across the city, to parliament buildings for live performances, to Leith for public artworks, and Sculpture Gardens outside of Edinburgh for queer parties.”

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